Newsletter – 13 June 2017
The outcome of the General Election has brought anti-war politics nearer to victory. Theresa May’s overall parliamentary majority has been wiped out by a surge of support for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. Her government now depends on the far right Democratic Unionist party, and may be fatally wounded.
The huge support given to Stop the War’s former chair demonstrates that anti-war arguments now permeate vast segments of society. The Tory party and their supporters in the media establishment were hoping they could use the appalling terrorist attacks that took place in Manchester and in London to gain electoral advantage by playing the security card. Instead, it was Jeremy Corbyn’s intervention, which highlighted the link between Western foreign policy and the spread of terrorism, which chimed with the public mood. As Chris Nineham wrote in his recent article: “Despite the media onslaught an opinion poll showed that the overwhelming majority of the population agreed with him. The ORB survey found 75 per cent of people believe interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have made atrocities on UK soil more likely.”
The election result shows that there is huge opposition to the British establishment’s warmongering and to its other skewed priorities. As a result of this state of affairs, any potential push for more military interventions, which is now more difficult, will be easier to challenge. A further indication that the forces of peace and progress are in the ascendancy is that Donald Trump has had to call off his planned visit in October for fear of mass demonstrations. This unprecedented blow against the special relationship and against Trump’s international reputation also proves that campaigning and protests work.
However, Britain is still fighting 7 wars, and there are people right across the political spectrum who support them. Trump is even threatening further military interventions. We therefore need to strengthen the anti-war movement and increase our reach in order to solidify and extend the gains that have been made. Only a mass campaign for peace and social justice can overturn the establishment’s agenda of permanent war and the erosion of our security and our civil liberties.